The International Programme on the State of the Ocean (IPSO) was established to improve our understanding of the role of the ocean at an Earth System Level and its contribution to enabling life to exist on Earth.

Every sea and ocean on our planet is part of one, global Ocean. This Ocean is like the earth's circulatory system: it performs numerous vital functions which make the planet habitable and we cannot survive without it. Currently, the Ocean is in a critical state of health. If it continues to decline, it will reach a point where it can no longer function effectively and our planet will be unable to sustain the ecosystems that support humankind.

Climate change is the biggest single threat to our Ocean's health, but it's not the only one. If the Ocean is to continue functioning at a level capable of sustaining life as we know it, we need to tackle climate change and alleviate the other pressures we exert upon it.

IPSO's unique consortium of scientists and other Ocean experts — including those from the legal, communications and political arenas — identify the current problems, project the future outcomes of these problems and develop workable solutions to alter the trajectory of degradation.

Everything that IPSO does, it does to preserve our Ocean so that life as we know it can continue.


London - October 3rd 2013: An international panel of marine scientists is demanding urgent remedies to halt ocean degradation based on findings that the rate, speed and impacts of change in the global ocean are greater, faster and more imminent than previously thought.

Results from the latest International Programme on the State of the Ocean (IPSO)/IUCN review of science on anthropogenic stressors on the ocean go beyond the conclusion reached last week by the UN climate change panel the IPCC that the ocean is absorbing much of the warming and unprecedented levels of carbon dioxide and warn that the cumulative impact of this with other ocean stressors is far graver than previous estimates. Read more.

IPCC Report confirms ocean is bearing brunt of carbon impact

27th September 2013

The latest UN Climate change assessment gives more detail than ever on the way in which the ocean is absorbing many of the damaging effects of climate change and the news is alarming, according to leading marine science body the International Programme on the State of the Ocean. Read more.

TED Studies: Marine Biology - The Deep Ocean

IPSO's Alex Rogers contributes introductory essay to TED Studies course.

Aquatic explorers take the TED stage to share what they've seen in the abyss of Earth's last frontier: the deep ocean. Home to massive underwater mountains and valleys, giant smoking chimneys, and an amazing array of animals, these Talks provide clues about the origin of life on Earth.

Relevant areas of interest, study and coursework include: Biological Oceanography, Chemical Oceanography, Geological Oceanography, Ocean Engineering, Ecology, Sustainable Consumption, Resource Management, Cinematography, Genomics, and Evolution.

View more information and subscribe to the course here.

Interactive: The Earth System

Click the graphic to view the ocean and earth system.